The Ladies Auxiliary (LAWM) was a WMVIA organization that was composed of wealthy summer residents and local people. The Ladies group was also a mix, although for decades the leadership was in the hands of the summer women. They held their monthly meeting in NYC except in the summer. In any case, they rented and made repairs to the mill as the WMVIA was not interested in getting involved in another old building.
When the LAWM purchased the mill in 1942 they incorporated as The Ladies Auxiliary of Water Mill, Inc. - a non-profit group. The museum opened in 1969 and it was early identified as the "Old Water Mill Museum."
In the late 1990s the LAWM board voted to change the name of the organization owning the mill to The Water Mill Museum, which is incorporated under NYS.
We wanted to encourage male involvement at the board level and felt the LAWM label was a put off. The change took about a year as federal and state forms had to be submitted and resubmitted. The existing board of the LAWM became the new board of the WMM and only the constitution had to be changed. The Museum continued as a non-profit organization but now under the new organizational name which is the same name as the historic three building site we maintain. The Southampton Town historic designation covers all three buildings and the grounds.